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Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 34128, 6 pages
Research Article

Follow up after Primary Treatment of Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A Survey of Current Practice in the United Kingdom

1North of England Bone and Soft Tissue Tumour Service, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals, Newcastle NE7 7DN, UK
2Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham, Division of Cancer studies, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3Section of Oncology and Pathology, Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2SJ, UK
4Orthopaedic Oncology Service, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Northfield, Birmingham B31 2AP, UK

Received 14 September 2006; Accepted 27 June 2007

Academic Editor: David Spooner

Copyright © 2007 C. H. Gerrand et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the clinical and financial implications, there is little evidence about how patients who have been treated for soft tissue sarcoma should be followed up. The purpose of this study was to determine current practice in the United Kingdom. 192 clinicians treating patients with soft tissue sarcoma were surveyed with a postal questionnaire enquiring about frequency and method of follow up and how patients would be followed up in each of 3 clinical scenarios: a patient with a trunk or extremity tumour at low risk of relapse; a patient with a trunk or extremity tumour at high risk of relapse; and a patient with a retroperitoneal or abdominal tumour. 155 (81%) clinicians responded. Clinic visits and X-rays were the most frequently used methods of follow up. Chest CT scans, local site imaging, and blood tests were used infrequently. The intensity and methods of follow up varied with each of the clinical scenarios. There was a seven-to-twenty fold variation in cost between the least and the most expensive regimes. Respondents were generally supportive of the development of the clinical trial in this area.